According to the FBI, American serial killers are 93% men, 58% white, and often married, employed, and with military service backgrounds. White married men with full-time jobs who’ve served their country are pretty much the target demographic of who our society wants us to feel safe around. There’s been a centuries-long campaign to see this demographic as the best of us, and only in recent decades has that campaign loosened up a bit. I think that explains why so many times when serial killers are caught, their long, bloody trail of victims can be attributed to the fact that so many people, including the cops, didn’t suspect them of such monstrous crimes against humanity (although let’s be real — white married men with full-time jobs who’ve served their country also have a long history of crimes against humanity).
“He was our Church deacon!” “He was my friendly neighbor!” “He was my bar buddy!” “He held my baby!” “He was friends with the cops!” “He was a cop!” — phrases that often come out of the mouths of the people who didn’t realize they were fraternizing with a person who was headed home to dig a corpse out of their freezer and eat or fuck it. He has kids, he does community service, he’s a security guard, he made me a pie, he seemed cooperative, he held the door open for me. Well, you just thanked a serial killer. Check out these stories from people who met, hung out with, beat up, and bopped some of America’s most notorious serial killers.
Stories via Ranker
Wanted Man Pretended To Be Her Friend’s Cousin
From Redditor /u/FromHereToParis:
My friend and I carpool to and from work together every day. It was late at night and I was waiting for her to come pick me up when her cousin drove past and told me she was running late, and had asked if he could come pick me up, so I wouldn’t have to wait so long alone.
I met her cousin only once, very briefly at a wedding she had dragged me to a few months back. He seemed nice, then and now, so I agreed.
I was about to step into the car, but then I realized I had left my purse inside my work. I told him I would be two seconds to go grab it. I went back into work and grabbed my purse. My phone rang. It was my friend. She said she was on her way to come pick me up. Confused, I reminded her that she had asked her cousin to pick me up. Silence. She only has one cousin, and he was on a missionary trip in another country…WTF.
Turns out, this guy had been memorizing every detail of my life and schedule, and knew I waited for my friend every night to pick me up. He dressed up as my friend’s “cousin,” because he knew I wouldn’t be afraid of him because I had met him, but I didn’t know him well enough to realize it wasn’t him.
The cops, after a long chase, caught him. He had previously murdered 3 other women, and in the back of his car were poisons, guns, chains, knives, ropes, and masks.
Almost Became A Victim Of Angel Maturino Reséndiz
From Redditor /u/sandyvajina:
When I was 17, I went to Project Akon, an anime convention in Dallas, TX, with a friend. We were supposed to meet her sister at the hotel, and we would share a hotel room. She never showed up. The weekend turned to searching until she was found. The Texas Railroad killer snuck into her apartment while she packed for the trip and [took her life] with a pickaxe. It has haunted me ever since, especially since the original plan was to drive to her sister’s that night and carpool to the hotel together. I’ll never know if he would have picked a different victim or if he would have just [ended] all of us.
Grandma Beat Up Richard Ramirez
From Redditor /u/glassesnw1ne:
My friend’s grandma had a close encounter with Richard Ramirez aka the Night Stalker of Los Angeles. Grandma was doing yard work in the back and saw him jump a fence into her property. She was freaked out and started whacking him with a broom or something. It was enough for him to abort whatever he had planned and he jumped back over. Grandma sees a sketch on the news a few days later and realizes it’s the same guy that she hit in her backyard.
I’m still super scared of leaving any floor-level windows open at night, no matter how hot it is outside.
Met Dale Hausner’s Brother
From Redditor /u/gogojack:
About 10 years ago, I met a guy named Randy Hausner. He was a local comic and small-time promoter in Phoenix. He had a comedy night where my then-girlfriend was performing. Went to a couple shows…seemed like a nice enough guy. If I remember correctly, he was an advocate for “clean” comedy. If you worked blue, you didn’t work for him.
A couple years later, his brother Dale turned out to be the “Serial Shooter,” responsible for 8 deaths and at least 29 other shootings in the Phoenix area between 2005 and 2006. He [passed] a few months ago while awaiting execution. Another brother, Jeff, is serving 18 years for stabbing a guy.
Grandmother Scolded Albert DeSalvo
From Redditor /u/iDebisschop:
My grandmother went to school with the Boston Strangler. After he hit on her/said something inappropriate, she hit him in the head with a book.
Kendall Francois Worked At His Middle School
From Redditor /u/2ndChanceCharlie:
Kendall Francois. This guy worked at my middle school. When you had lunch detention, it was with Francois. He was the assistant coach of the wrestling team. He was nice, although intimidating. He also stunk – turns out it was the bodies in his attic.
She Scared Off Ted Bundy
From Redditor /u/ohmygodbeckylook:
This isn’t about me, but my friend’s aunt. She heard a knock on the door and thought it was her boyfriend. She wanted to scare him and got one of her kitchen knives and opened the door and yelled or something. Turns out it wasn’t her boyfriend, but a man asking if she needed any plumbing work done. When he saw the knife, he left. She looked out the window and saw a yellow VW bug. Ends up being Ted Bundy.
Camped Close To Raoul Moat
From Redditor /u/spencerjustsaid:
I was camping in the Lake District here in the UK 3 years back when a man named Raoul Moat went on [an infamous shooting] spree. We had no idea this was going on at the time (no phone reception/Internet/TV/anything) but later found out he was hiding in bushes only a couple hundred meters from where we were camping! I’m only too sure that if he found our camp we would all be dead.
Half-Sister Was Propositioned By Michael Ross
From Redditor /u/thewire_greatestshow:
Not me but my half-sister. When she was in middle school she was walking home from school and a guy in an old pickup [truck] offered her a ride home. She said no, because our dad had always said never accept a ride from strangers.
A few weeks later, a girl went missing from her class. They found her [body] some time later […] They later caught the guy, who turned out to be Michael Ross. All in all he [assaulted and took the lives of] somewhere around 8 young girls in the CT area. He’d later get the death sentence.
From what she’s told me, our dad and her mother tried to keep the details of the trial away from her at home, trying not to freak out their young daughter. She said, however, the first time she caught a glimpse of his mug shot she recognized him immediately as the man who offered her a ride.
Met Paul Bernardo At A Wedding
From Redditor /u/julieoolie:
I don’t know if anyone who isn’t from Canada will have heard of this guy, but I live in an area of Toronto known as Scarborough – home of the “Scarborough Rapist,” aka Paul Bernardo. My best friend growing up’s parents went to a wedding he was at after her parents had just had her older brother. Paul and Karla (his wife and accomplice) asked to hold her brother and my friend’s parents said sure.
Kind of disturbing when they found out what he was years later.
He Personally Knew BTK
From former Redditor /u/anonymous:
BTK has been inside my house. He held my roommate as a baby, and even knew my roommate’s grandmother. Going to and from school and various places, I walk some of the same streets that he would walk as he was scouting for potential victims. I asked my roommate if this bothers him, and he replied, “I try not to think about it. The dude was just intertwined with my family, and it is what it is.”
Used To Be Friends With Nidal Hasan
From Redditor /u/down_vote_militia:
I was friends with Nidal Hasan (Fort Hood Shooter) in medical school and was acquainted with him at Virginia Tech (we were both trying to get into medical school – he was biochem and I was biology).
He dropped by the foosball table at USUHS on and off in our 1st and 2nd year. I remember one of his parents dying and he took some time off. We both got into trouble in medical school in the internal medicine rotation, and had to retake it. We took that rotation a second time together and hung out a little – but we both failed it again. So I was pretty pissed off since I failed despite passing the exams and we discussed it. He said that he was going to sneak away from the DC area to do his third rotation so that he wouldn’t be “targeted” to fail again, but I was like “screw that, I’m taking it at Walter Reed and screw them if they fail me.” He said that I was challenging the senior physicians, and I was, and that bruising their egos wasn’t going to work out. He was right. He passed and graduated, I failed and left medical school after five years. During that same conversation (we meet for dinner at an IHOP), he did ask if my faith got them through these tough times and I told him that I “wasn’t religious.” Nidal seemed like he could barely believe that – I already knew that he was a pretty [devout] Muslim.
As for his personality, when I knew him, he was soft-spoken and a genuinely caring person. He was really close with his family, and spent most of his time with them. At times, he could be philosophical, but he was mostly friendly and easy to be around.
Fast forward to after I left the military (USUHS is a military medical school) and I’m in the car listening to the news about the Fort Hood shooter – his cousin comes on and starts going on about him. Four years enlisted, went to VT, then went to the military medical school – I’m like […] I know this guy. Sure enough, it was Nidal. That photo they have of him when he was young – that was the photo for medical school – I was with him when that photo was taken.
Oh well, I guess a lot can change over 5-6 years. I won’t try to defend what he did – that was truly awful – but I can say that he wasn’t all bad.
Worked For Robert Pickton
From Redditor /u/rockrod777:
[I] did work for Robert Pickton, [C]anada’s worst serial killer. [He] seemed like a really nice guy, but three or four months later the truth came out. […] I still think there were more people involved – there were a lot of sketchy people around that farm.
Mom Grew Up Near John Wayne Gacy
From Redditor /u/Glastonberry48:
This is rather indirect, but I think it’s close enough. A few years ago, I was attending a funeral with my family, and we were doing the funeral procession where you drive from the funeral parlor to the person’s house, then the graveyard. While [we] were driving through this Chicago suburb, my mom starting point out how she lived in this neighborhood, and pointed out the house she grew up in. She continued on about houses in the neighborhood, and my attention span started to tune out, up until she pointed to a house a few doors down from hers and said “That was John Wayne Gacy’s house, the [infamous] clown.” Looking back on that, it explains why my mom was so overprotective of me when I was growing up.
He Met Richard ‘The Iceman’ Kuklinski
From Redditor /u/TurnTheTVOff:
I met Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski. Short story time. Many years ago, I worked for Trenton Emergency Medical Services. Our response area included Trenton State Prison, where Mr. Kuklinski was housed. Earlier in the shift I heard one of our rigs dispatched to the prison, but paid little attention as it wasn’t my call and we went there almost daily. A short time later I bump into the crew that responded to the prison earlier and they inform me that the patient was The Iceman. I asked how it went and they said he was actually kind of a nice guy. They also said he was HUGE. I don’t think much about it and go on with my day. Later we are taking an asthma patient to the same hospital that Mr. Kuklinski was transported to. As soon as we wheel our patient into the ER, I see him. Can’t miss him. He was a full head above the top of the stretcher and his feet hung off the bottom by a good 12″ or more.
Now when the prison sent an inmate out to the hospital they always sent two corrections officers with them. Sometimes they wore sidearms, sometimes they didn’t. Mr. Kuklinski was accompanied by six of the biggest COs I have ever seen, all wearing sidearms, two carrying shotguns. I have never seen this level of protection before and never saw it again. I turn over my patient and am standing at the nurses’ station getting info for my report. I catch myself looking at him and realize I am staring at him when he looks me in the eye and says, “What […] are you looking at?” I replied, “Nothin’. I just never met anyone that had three HBO specials done on them before.” He chuckled. I left. That was the time I met Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski.